For those of you near the South Loop, you have probably seen a different look to ShopColumbia. That is because ShopColumbia has moved next door to 619 S Wabash and Columbia's WorkRoom has moved into the old Shop space at 623 S Wabash. While ShopColumbia's retail store is currently closed and the new space is papered for renovations, a lot is happening behind the scenes.
ShopColumbia becomes ShopColumbia at the Averill and Bernard Leviton Gallery
The 619 S Wabash space was previously occupied by Columbia's Averill and Bernard Leviton Gallery. The new space will blend the fine art and design focus embodied by the Leviton Gallery with ShopColumbia's learning laboratory model.
History of Leviton Gallery
In 2001, the 11th Street Gallery opened its doors at 72 E. 11th Street as a part of the Art + Design Department, with a mission to present professional exhibitions and educational programming that encompassed the broadest possible definition of visual art and design. Over the years, the gallery’s name and location evolved—most notably, to the Averill and Bernard Leviton A+D Gallery, at 619 S. Wabash.
Showcasing both emerging and established local, national, and international creatives, and providing a platform for the dialogue around contemporary art and design, Leviton Gallery has long been an integral part of Chicago’s creative fabric. With its history of cutting edge programming and support of faculty, students, and alumni, the Leviton Gallery will continue to fill its unique niche in this new iteration.
The new location will allow ShopColumbia to showcase a larger selection of fine art alongside handcrafted and designed merchandise. In addition to showcasing larger collections by individual artists, ShopColumbia's artist representation will expand to increase alumni outreach and introduce Columbia faculty and staff into the store to serve as professional examples to Columbia students.
Much like most Columbia buildings, 619 S Wabash is a historic building steeped in history. Built in the 1920s, the 2-story building was home to a night club in the 1920s, a restaurant in the 1930s, a textile company, in the 1940s, and the Universal Bowling Corporation from the 1960s to 2003, where it once served as the bowling company’s salesroom. To modernize the space, ShopColumbia will be closed renovations. New windows and doors will be installed early 2017 to create a more welcoming entry for guests.
A Grand Reopening is being planned for May 2017. Stay in touch via the website or social media for updates!